Tag Archives: menu swap

GF Menu Swap – August 11th

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Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

We had a great trip to the local Farmer’s Market today. My fridge is bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables. The blueberries I picked up for breakfast are seriously wonderful. I thought about making something with them, but to be honest, I think just popping them in my mouth fresh and cool is the absolute best. So baking with them? That idea has flown out the window completely.

The other gorgeous food I picked up today were some incredible beets. My mom loves beets – a little fact I never knew until just last year. She picked up some beets at our Farmer’s Market when she was here and I swear there were stars in her eyes. She brought them back to our house and boiled them… staining her hands in the process. Something she swore was completely worth the redness. My dad wasn’t looking too convinced. And when I saw my dad’s face, I knew why I had never eaten beets in my lifetime. She never made them because he doesn’t really “appreciate” them much. Ah ha. Mystery solved.

Needless to say, I’m not a boiled beets fan. However, when I can get fresh beets from the Farmer’s Market, I adore them roasted. And I’ve solved the red-dyed hands look too. It’s as easy as a pair of latex gloves. Yeap. I keep the painting gloves handy during beet season. I, for one, do not appreciate reddened-fingers.

Oh, and the beet greens? They make for the perfect base for a roast beet salad. And that is exactly what I plan to make with them this week.

Ah yes. I love the Farmer’s Market.
It’s the best place to go for inspiration for your menu!

And this week Natalie of Gluten-Free (the originator of the Gluten Free Menu Swap) chose tofu for this week’s main ingredient. And while we do enjoy tofu in our house, I have only one recipe that highlights it this week. I learned how to make this incredibly delicious tofu with ginger and soy when my in-laws were in town. I guess this is the time for me to finally get around to making it. Tofu is actually a very budget-friendly – and incredible versatile.

Tofu comes in many forms. If you are a tofu-neophyte, little reading about the types of tofu and how to use them are all you really need before you get started. Wikipedia has a great summary here and here is a basic page with a chart that lists the basic tofu substitutes. Even if you are not planning to substitute tofu (we don’t, we just cook the tofu to eat that.), knowing what type of protein you can replace will give you a better idea of cooking, etc.

I recently made Inari-sushi which is made from fried tofu packets that are opened up and filled with sushi rice. And Oh. My. Goodness. They are great! Believe it or not, they are the perfect slightly-sweet treat for a lunch box for me sometimes. In honor of Natalie’s choosing tofu, I’ll post that recipe this week sometime.

In the meantime, I want to thank Jyesika at Wheatstate Celiac for hosting this week’s menu swap. And I will also be submitting this to Menu Plan Monday on Orgjunkie.org. It was incredibly helpful and motivating for me to participate there are well.

Here’s the plan, Sam. Let’s see if I stick to it!

Monday: Peach-sweetened Chili with Pita Chips

Tuesday: Carne Asada with Leaf Lettuce Wraps

Wednesday: Grilled Pork and Peaches

Thursday: Roast Beet and Carrot Salad with Grilled chicken breasts

Friday: Baked meatballs and spaghetti, garlic bread and a huge salad

Happy Monday, everyone!

Gluten Free Menu Swap July 14

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I posted our dinner last night today too.
We had pizza!
Fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella pizza.
You can find the recipe here.

And now… on to

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

Since our household is just made up of two adults (and a dog)… (so far!), we tend to live and cook on the whim of our taste buds. This is great – for now. But once in a while, it makes for late dinners and indecisiveness between us both. And it sometimes mean we toss out quite a sad amount of spoiled food because we shop without a plan. Since Natalie (Gluten Free Mommy) came out with this GF Menu Swap, I’ve been a lurker. But I’ve also been inspired.

So lately I’ve been writing these menus (privately), but I only write them for four days at a time. I guess I’m so accustomed to playing dinner by ear and time slips away from us that I can’t think of what to make for dinner five days out. I’m not sure how you are started organizing your menus (have you always done this?) but here’s what I did to start:

  • I made a list of all of the perishable food items I have on hand. (I call them my “Use ’em or Lose ’em List.)
  • I then listed out all of the staples I have in the freezer – mostly meats, etc.
  • Then I thought about all the recipes/flavors we’ve been wanting to try and…
  • …a list of entree ideas is born.
  • Once I have this list, I see what groceries I need and try to pare my list down from there.

Since my plan only includes 4 days, I also list a bunch of ideas for the fifth day and beyond. I never know if we are going to skip around on the meal chart or maybe the fifth day meal happens because I didn’t get the store (or the next plan written!) in time.

I’ve been trying to time my shopping trips for Thursday-Sunday because that is when the local Farmer’s Market is open. We’ve had the most delicious roast beets, fresh spinach, incredible blueberries, honey, tasty bee pollen, etc. And our Farmer’s Market has a couple local butchers, oyster farms, mushroom farm, fresh eggs, and salmon. Oh yes, it is so worth buying my staples there when we can.

On my “Meal Plan” chart (which is taped ever-so-ungracefully to the kitchen cabinet door), I also list a score of ideas for snacks or small meals if we chose to deviate or have an impromtu meal with friends. (If friends come over, I just pull one of the items off this list to accommodate more people.)

I am no expert here – but I will attempt to share one plan. I don’t guarantee that I can keep this up (especially when the school year kicks off). But for now, however, I will make valiant efforts to keep my 4 day plans going. Even if I don’t end up sharing them online.

Here’s this week’s menu plan:



  • Spiced-Grilled Flank Steak
  • Roasted Beet-Rice Salad


  • Curried Shrimp-Pineapple Kebabs
  • Summer Risotto


  • Korean Short Ribs
  • Leaf Wraps with (GF) Miso paste (a la Korean BBQ)
  • Cold potato salad

Friday: (The IDEA list)

  • Hummus/Pita
  • Pork Kebabs
  • Dolma
  • Ginger-Spiked Pork Chops
  • Mung Bean Pancakes
  • Carne Asada
  • Mushroom Pizza
  • Arepa Sandwiches
  • Salmon Pasta Salad (Inspired by the BBQ Pasta Salad Throw Down!)
  • Chimichurri Grilled Meat
  • Spam Musubi

Thank you, Natalie, for organizing the Gluten Free Menu Swaps. It’s SUCH a great idea! Even for those of us lurkers. You’ve really inspired me to get organized!